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Microsoft Says It Makes "Zero Business Sense" To Make Call Of Duty Exclusive

A new survey, commissioned by Microsoft, claims that PlayStation would lose 3% of customers if Call of Duty became Xbox only.


Microsoft has disputed the U.K. Competition and Market Authority's (CMA) concerns about the computing giant's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. According to a YouGov survey, commissioned by Microsoft, 3% of PlayStation owners would migrate to Xbox if Microsoft made Call of Duty exclusive. Microsoft claims that this is insufficient incentive to remove the massive franchise from PlayStation consoles.

Microsoft disclosed the results of the January survey to Axios. Last December, the CMA commissioned its own survey, which found that 15% of active Call of Duty players, meaning people who played at least 10 hours or spent $100 on the franchise, would switch to Xbox. The CMA's figure for all PlayStation owners who would switch has not been disclosed, though the CMA has publicly cited the statistic as proof that PlayStation would lose customers. The CMA has further used the survey as evidence that Microsoft would be incentivized to take Call of Duty off of PlayStation.

Rima Alaily, the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Competition Law Group, told Axios that, "As we have said all along: it makes zero business sense to take Call of Duty off of PlayStation." Alaily clarified that the amount of people who would switch to Xbox is "too small to hurt Sony’s ability to compete and too small to make a withholding strategy profitable for Xbox."

It's worth noting the difference in methodology between the two surveys. The CMA's survey explicitly included options for switching to PC. The YouGov survey that Microsoft commissioned focused on console switching alone.

The CMA will make its decision regarding Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard on April 26, a day after the EU's regulatory committee will make a similar decision.

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